YMMV: The Haunting Hour

aka: The Haunting Hour The Series
The movie:

The series:

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Several YouTube comments on the video for "Stage Fright" suggest the witch might not have been a villain in the story at all... considering she admits to eating Hansel and Gretel's parents as opposed to the children themselves. You know, the people who willingly abandoned their children in the forest to starve/be eaten by wild animals.
    • Added to that, the story about the boy that the witch beheaded is likely just made-up since the twist is that the witch went mad from people telling stories about her eating children, she only eats adults.
    • A YouTube comment for the episode "Sick" suggested that the whole story was told inside the mind of a boy in the hospital with a terminal disease or maybe in a coma and that the mom, the government agents, and the TV morning-show hosts could be respective voices of doctors and his parents trying to speak to him (or are speaking within earshot of him) while he was still unconscious note . It would explain why this episode ended with a loud flat line and a white light, which can be reinterpreted as the doctors pulling the plug on the boy, but then again, the flat-line sound and the white light could be a special off-screen weapon used to wipe out human life, with the flat line being an appropriate sound effect for the boy's and his mom's respective impending deaths.
    • Whether or not Cassandra the photographer was really the evil one in "Headshot." Yes, it is heavily implied that she's the Devil and has been collecting the souls of young girls who want to be the face of Teen Teen magazine, but most of the blame can be put on Gracie and her pursuit to be famous. Cassandra even said that "Gracie has become what she's always been," meaning that Gracie, deep down, has always been shallow and willing to ditch her true friends in the name of fame.
    • The owner of the funhouse in "Funhouse". Sure, he psychologically tortures Chad with the model replica of the arguing family and urges him to vent his rage on his family, but it wasn't out of evil; it was for Chad to learn that he should face his inner demons, and when Chad was cured of his anger, the carnie doesn't steal Chad's soul or force him to live in the funhouse forever; he just disappears. In fact, the only things weird about him are that no one knows where he came from and that he somehow knows about Chad and Kelly's family dinner night.
    • Uncle Howee in his titular episode. Is he really a benevolent being, trying to protect Cynthia from the harshness of her brother or a jerkass Reality Warper who torments anyone who disrespects his show (the latter option probably would explain the existence of Loomis the rabbit, since Loomis is implied to have no puppeteer controlling him, and, to a lesser extent, Mr. Clock)? And speaking of Jared, is he always a bully to his sister or did he just act that way because he wanted to see a movie with his friends, but his mom had to work late at the hospital?
  • Base Breaker: "Poof de Fromage." Either it's a very stupid episode that's out of place with the darker, more mature episodes (and reminds people of the Narmy days of Goosebumps), or just a goofy, light-hearted Breather Episode to get people's minds off the depressing twist ending to "My Imaginary Friend" and get them ready for "The Golem" two-parter.
    • The season three episodes are either just as good as seasons one and two, or are a major step down from the previous two seasons.
  • Complete Monster: Lilly D is a doll with a soul, but a soul of evil. She gradually turns Lilly into a doll to take her place among the family, and before she set that plan into motion, she turns Lilly's mother against her to the point where she says to the doll "I wish you were my daughter" right in front of the real Lilly. She later returns seemingly redeemed due to the love of a new girl named Natalie, but later she turns out to be jealousy-prone and attempts to drown a baby bird being nursed to health, pushes Natalie's handicapped grandfather down the stairs, and attacks Natalie with a knife.
  • Crazy Awesome: Uncle Howee of his titular episode. A Reality Warper this side of Pinkie Pie who's out there to teach bullies a lesson with teleportation powers and a catchy song.
  • Ear Worm: Uncle Howee's theme song in the titular episode, Howee Doin'? Howee Doin'? It's the Uncle Howee Show!
  • Esoteric Happy Ending: A Creature Was Stirring wants us to believe that the family is happy at last: the parents are no longer going to divorce and they all "have each other", as they put it. Then you realize that they lost everything they had, except for the clothes they are wearing, they are homeless and they have nothing to eat. There's just no way that they'll survive the winter, unless they have neighbors or relatives they can stay with, but happy endings on a show like this are few and far between.
    • "Terrible Love": Maggie finally finds love after class nerd Stuart orders Cupid to fire his love arrow at her. Yes, never mind that the effects of the love arrows are permanent (since the "love potion" inside the arrows are common human hormones and Cupid told Maggie that one hit is enough), which is why Cupid can't, in good conscience, shoot two arrows at the same target, as a hyperdose leads to love-induced insanity (as seen with Brendon), meaning Maggie will be in love with a nerd whom she hardly knows forever (though it is payback for Maggie trying to make a hunk in her class fall for her, even though she doesn't know much about him). And, what if Stuart makes the mistake of asking Cupid for another hit?
    • "Near Mint Condition": Ted is able to defeat Mangler by decapitating it with a katana he previously bought online and he and his brother decide to tape its head back on its body, pack it up so tight that it can't escape, and put it for sale online. Considering how advanced the robotics on the toy seem to be, what's stopping it from repairing itself and going after whoever buys it next?
  • Evil Is Sexy: Griselda in "The Most Evil Sorcerer."
    • Cassandra (the photographer for Teen Teen magazine implied to be the Devil) in "Headshot."
    • The witch in Stage Fright who told the audience that she didn't eat the kids in Hansel and Gretel isn't all that bad looking either.
    • The evil fairy (Lyria) in "Intruders"
  • Fridge Horror: The end of "Dreamcatcher." Unless the Dreamcatcher is confined to that camp, those two girls are going to have a very miserable, very short rest of their lives.
  • Genius Bonus: The Grim Reaper posing as an old woman who knits on the episode Flightnote  makes more sense if you're familiar with Classical or Norse Mythology, wherein the Fates (shown as three old crones) and Norns would spin a thread to represent a person's life.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Given the panic over the late 2014 Ebola outbreak, the entirety of the season two episode called "Sick" (including the downer ending where Alex discovers that he wasn't dreaming anything that happened to him) will come off as being in terrible taste.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In My Sister The Witch, Jodelle Ferland played Alice, a girl who learned witchcraft while at boarding school. The season after, she was in the two-parter The Most Evil Sorcerer, playing a character who outright says that she hates magic.
    • In The Return of Lily D., Natalie arms herself with a frying pan.
  • Hollywood Homely: Lexi in Headshots. However, the two people that call her plain/ugly—- Cassandra and Gracie—-are purposefully doing it out of spite (Cassandra is annoyed that Lexi has discovered her true intentions behind the Teen Teen magazine contest, while Gracie has become so shallow and cutthroat that she doesn't realize that Cassandra is using her and thinks Lexi's claims are out of jealousy). In reality, however, Lexi would be considered relatively pretty compared to other girls her age.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Most fans who thought the show went downhill in season three only wanted to watch season four because of either the highly-anticipated sequel to "The Dead Body" or because the episode "Uncle Howee" had Tom Kenny as the title character.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Jake crosses it by leaving Will to die and appears to rub it in his face by dancing with Will's crush. Fortunately, the Sequel Episode rectified it for anyone who thought Jake was a Karma Houdini.
    • Admit it, you hated Lilly Carbo's mother when she told her real-life daughter to her face that she loved Lilly D. more than her. She does realize the error of her ways when she nearly throws the Lilly D. doll in the trash and discovers that the doll is her (as it has the same mole as Lilly).
      • Lilly D crossed it herself by constantly framing Lilly, and manipulating Lilly's mom into liking her more than her flesh-and-blood daughter.
    • The entire episode of A Brush With Madness was one for Allan Miller, but only if you believe that Corey is trapped in Allan Miller's graphic novel, and not the theory that Corey isn't real and Allan Miller made him and the story up to vent his frustrations over going to comic book conventions and dealing with fanboys who don't understand the true intentions of his work.
    • Meg in Dreamcatcher. She acts rude to Lisa and Amelia while at summer camp (she's jealous that Amelia has decided to spend more time with Lisa, a newcomer), and purposefully damages their dreamcatchers, causing them to be plagued by the titular demon haunting the camp (even if she didn't really believe in the story, destroying someone else's belongings is a pretty crappy thing to do). Later on, she finds them trapped in the Dreamcatcher's web and decides to leave them to die, commenting "I'm an only child; I don't like to share." It's really hard to feel sorry for her when she ends up alone in the web, with the ending implying that she dies.
    • Daniel Quinn, Greg's great-great-grandfather, in "Lotsa Luck." Throughout the episode, he's remembered as a hero for being the only person to ever keep his soul when dealing with leprechauns—but it turns out he achieved that goal by selfishly wishing to save his own soul and offering that of his next male descendant as a trade.
    • The titular house in "My Old House" crossed it by making Alice a literal part of it after she witnessed her parents, worried to death over her safety, searching for her and decided to leave.
  • Nightmare Retardant: The horrifying Christmas demon (known as a Krampus) that spits acid and is smart enough to blow up a house, just to teach a strained family a lesson on togetherness during the holiday season, is picked up by Santa Claus riding in a red SUV-limousine as hip hop Christmas music plays in the background. It's a lot funnier than it sounds.
    • The Photoshop effects of the demon in the photographs in "Red Eye", particularly the one that looks as if the Alp and Grace's father are best friends enjoying a day out.
    • The reveal in "Poof de Fromage" that the aliens that Jean-Louis is trying to destroy are just common Cheetos-style cheese curl snacks.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: A few episodes combine this with Fridge Horror, especially when the creatures/supernatural events are completely unexplained, leaving viewers to wonder about what the protagonists are up against. In "Mascot," it's never revealed just what Big Yellow is—we know he's a monster, but how he came to live in the school and be considered its mascot are totally unknown.
    • Similarly, in "Uncle Howee," the home audience never finds out the truth behind the titular kiddie-show host. We know he has powers including teleportation, directly interacting with his audience, the ability to slip from the TV to reality and back again, and transforming people into cast members of his show, but what exactly is he? A wizard? A human who was literally cursed with TV magic? Cynthia's imaginary friend who can communicate with her through reflective surfaces, like the TV and the bathroom mirror? The ghost of a long-dead children's show host whose spirit is alive because his show is always on in reruns and always watched by children Cynthia's agenote ? Some kind of monster or otherworldly creature posing as a human kids' show host? Is the television under some kind of curse? Has Cynthia's love and devotion to the show somehow make Uncle Howee and his friends real? The answers are never even hinted at, making him all the more frightening.
    • It's also not explained how Mangler in "Near Mint Condition" came to be evil (nor do we actually see the aftermath of Mangler's attacks). Was it a flaw in the robotics? Was it a mistake with the manufacturers? Or is there a toy creator out there so sociopathic that he can make a toy that injures and kills kids without feeling remorse or thinking of what that kind of stunt means for the toy company brand?
  • Paranoia Fuel: "The Walls," "Red Eye," "Sick," "The Perfect Brother," and "Spores."
  • Seasonal Rot: As noted in Base Breaker above, season three (the first half) is seen as the point where the show reached its peak and went downhill. The second half of season three (shown as season four in North America) is somewhat better (because of episodes like Dead Bodies, Coat Rack Cowboy, Detention, Long Live Rock and Roll, Toy Train, and Uncle Howee), and season five seems to be a return to the basics, though some people will complain that the constant use of downer endings is a bit tiresome (in fact, the only episodes that have happy endings are "Grandpa's Glasses," "Near Mint Condition"note , and "Goodwill Toward Men"note ).
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: Despite the horrors and scares, some of the episodes do have some good lessons attached:
    • "Headshot", "Long Live Rock and Roll," and "Game Over": Your friends matter more than fame, fortune, and prestige and trying to sacrifice friends for any one of these will end terribly for you.
    • "Detention": No matter where you fit in in society (if you fit in at all), you're still human, capable of doing right or wrong, capable of making up for mistakes made, and not confined to a stereotype. That Alpha Bitch queen bee might actually feel bad about treating others poorly, the Dumb/Jerk Jock might not be as stupid or assholish as initially perceived, and the so-called outcast is just as much of an Attention Whore as the "popular kids" that he or she allegedly hates.
    • "Intruders" and "Bad Feng Shui": Your family loves you, even if it feels like they're too busy to care or may be harsh on you.
    • "The Funhouse": Venting your feelings is better than keeping them bottled up and always face your problems, even if it feels like you can't express them.
    • "Uncle Howee": Be nice to your siblings: if you don't watch over and take care of them, someone—or something—else will. The same lesson applies to "The Weeping Woman," only replace "siblings" with "children," as Chad's mother was so depressed and bitter over her husband not being home that she didn't care about her children, leaving them open for La Llorona to kidnap them. Who knows what would have happened if Chi wasn't there or knew nothing about how to stop La Llorona?
    • "Terrible Love": Love isn't love if it's not reciprocated, you can't force anyone to love you, and you have to love and trust yourself before you can love others. Also, jealousy and greed are destructive forces that will always blow up in your face.
    • "The Girl in the Painting" and "The Perfect Brother": Sometimes perfection comes at a hefty price.
    • "Brush With Madness": "Dark" and "gritty" art (especially comics) should be praised for how it speaks to the dark side of human nature, not because the Villain Protagonist is "cool".
    • "Wrong Number": Don't bully others, not all bullies are teenagers, and be sincere when you apologize to others.
    • "The Dead Body" and "Dead Bodies": Just because your life sucks doesn't mean you should give it up, as there's someone out there who does care about you and needs you when he or she needs help.
    • "The Red Dress": It's not okay to steal something just because you can't afford it and it's definitely not okay to sacrifice your morals just because of love or wanting to live "the high life." There's also the shopkeeper's final words in the episode, "Everyone must pay" (which, in this case, also applies to human life).
    • "Toy Train" and "Grandpa's Glasses": Feeling guilty or resentful about past actions can hurt you and those around you in the present.
    • "Goodwill Toward Men": Showing kindness to others now will pay off in the long run. Also: be mindful of others who don't have it as great as you do. The moral does come off as Anvilicious, but it is an Aesop that needs to be learned.
      • It's also worth noting that "Goodwill Toward Men" originally aired on November 29th, 2014—that is, the day after Black Friday. An Aesop about appreciating what you have and not being obsessed with material goods seems particularly appropriate on that date.
  • Space Whale Aesop: The ending of "Argh V" could be read as one: hey, kids, make sure your parents don't drive (or act) recklessly, or you'll die in a road accident, be turned into a zombie, and forced to wander the highway forever!. Though, unlike most space-whale Aesops, the "don't drive or act recklessly, especially if you're a parent" lesson actually makes sense.
  • What an Idiot: The protagonist in Wrong Number. If you're being haunted by an old Russian lady who is haunting you and your mean girl friend because you crank-called her before she died, maybe it's best to actually be sincere in your apology. Otherwise, you'll end up trapped in your cell phone on a video file and deleted forever by the Goth girl — who turns out to be the dead Russian woman's grand-daughter — whom you picked on as well. This is even worse because the old lady was prepared to open the door and let them both leave after the obviously insincere apology, but Steffani just had to go and toss of one more insult, resulting in the fate described above. One has to wonder what could have possibly led her to think that would end well.
    • Additional note on "Wrong Number": Before you go looking for help from the person you've been bullying, you should take some time to consider that this person may not have your best interests at heart. If you still decide to ask them for help after that, play nice. Insulting the person you're relying on to save you is a really dumb idea.
    • Scott from "Pumpkinhead". When you're threatened by a psychopathic farmer who doesn't want you near his creepy farm, you should probably do what he says. But Scott still wanted to go back even after finding a TOOTH in one of the pumpkins he stole from the pumpkin patch.
    • Maggie on "Terrible Love" when it's revealed that Stuart has hired Cupid to make Maggie fall for him. She should have run the moment she saw Cupid draw his bow, then again, she wouldn't have learned her lesson if she didn't get a taste of her own medicine.
    • Molly in "Mrs. Worthington." When the insane babysitter who appears from your brother's drawings and has the power to control your cell phone, knit a voodoo doll out of you, and conjure eyeballs and scorpions—things you witnessed yourself— is asking you to apologize to your little brother for your nasty attitude, you should probably do it.
    • Jamie from "The Red Dress": You walked into The Little Shop That Wasn't There Yesterday, met the creepy-as-hell blind proprietor, and decided that you could get away with stealing from her? What in the world were you thinking? At the very least, you were going to get caught eventually and do time for it, which would have been a slap on the wrist compared to having her take your vision as payment.
    • The end to "Near Mint Condition": Okay, the cyborg bear that was recalled for killing and maiming kids has been decapitated with a katana. You'd expect Ted and his brother to locate the toy company that made this monstrosity (it probably wouldn't be around due to the backlash and reported deaths caused by Mangler) and sue them (or sue the woman whose son sold the toy to Ted)? Nope; Ted and his brother decide to pack up Mangler (with its head duct taped to its body) and sell it online to the next poor sap (but not after stating that it's in "Near Mint Condition" and charging nearly $1000 for it).
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: This show is Goosebumps channeling Are You Afraid of the Dark? and Tales from the Crypt. Considering how censor-happy people can be these days when it comes to what they think children want, it's a miracle it hasn't been canceled or toned down.

Alternative Title(s):

The Haunting Hour Dont Think About It, The Haunting Hour The Series